RENATO L. CAYETANO vs. CHRISTIAN MONSOD
September 3, 1991 | G.R. No. 100113
- President Corazon Aquino Appointed Christian Monsod as the chairman of COMELEC.
- Renato Cayetano opposed the nomination because according to him, the respondent fall short of the ten year requirement for the position.
- The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied)
- June 5, 1991: COA approved the appointment.
- June 18, 1991: Monsod took his oath and assumed office.
- Petitioner prayed for certiorari and prohibition against Monsod.
Issue: Whether or not Monsod is engaged in the practice of law for more than ten years.
Atty. Monsod’s past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod’s confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission’s judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court’s corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly shown.
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court.
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. “To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.”
Case digest prepared The Law Chic. Facts and rulings were taken from the full text of the case.